Planet Partners with SynMax to Provide Energy Intelligence and Monitor Dark Vessels

Planet Labs PBC (NYSE: PL), a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, has partnered with SynMax, a Houston-based satellite analytics and intelligence company, to provide data-informed insights on the energy industry within the United States and monitor the movements of dark vessels around the globe.

With Planet’s daily PlanetScope imagery, SynMax monitors the location of hundreds of well pads for hydraulic fracturing and the ongoing activity at the sites by frac crews that maintain the operations and safety of the wells. These frac crews are responsible for the final steps in the development of oil and gas wells, and with Planet’s data, the status of the sites can be monitored in near real-time. By gaining intelligence on these operations, SynMax is able to inform energy-focused hedge funds, looking to accurately forecast the near-term supply of oil and gas.

After meeting Planet’s CEO and co-founder Will Marshall at his 2014 TED talk, Bill Perkins, founder of SynMax and owner of energy hedge fund Skylar Capital, came up with the idea of monitoring frac crew activity on a daily basis with Planet’s imagery. Planet’s approximately 200 satellites provide a line scanner of the Earth, imaging every terrestrial location every day. This unprecedented amount of data provides Planet’s customers with situational awareness and real-time insights about daily changes on the Earth.

“The problem of accurate near-term oil and gas supply forecasting has been a persistent issue for energy hedge funds, and I was immediately interested in how Planet’s satellite data could be used to reliably monitor frac crew activity,” states Perkins. “Supply is so critical to price that once this [frac crew] data becomes available to the market, we believe that hedge funds will be unable to trade without it.”

Perkins tasked then Quantitative Analyst, Eric Anderson, now SynMax CTO, with developing a model that incorporated Planet’s daily PlanetScope data into an analysis of frac crew activity. “We [Skylar Capital] have thoroughly explored the offerings of frac crew monitoring services from other companies and have been consistently frustrated at the poor quality of their data which relies on inconsistent and infrequent low resolution free satellite images,” recalled Anderson. Anderson and his team found that Planet data allowed them to track operating frac crews in near real-time.

Using their proprietary artificial intelligence combined with Planet’s satellite data, SynMax will provide maritime solutions for IUU fishing, illicit ship-to-ship transfers, and vessel spoofing. SynMax is now developing a first-of-its-kind dark vessel tracking product, entitled Project Theia. This project is targeting the commercial market and may make it possible for vessel operators, maritime insurance companies, and hedge funds interested in clandestine commodity flows, to discover, monitor, and investigate dark vessels operating all over the globe.

“SynMax has found that it can discover in-mass maritime vessels all over the world that are not transponding their locations using, in part, Planet’s daily imagery,” said SynMax CEO Brendan Moore, a former UK intelligence officer.

Together, these two companies could deliver unmatched data-informed intelligence for hedge funds invested in the energy industry and companies relying on transparent maritime commodity flows. Planet’s daily coverage of the globe could empower the financial industry to make better data-informed decisions, in part through innovative companies like SynMax.

About Planet

Planet is a leading provider of global, daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions. Planet is driven by a mission to image the world every day, and make change visible, accessible and actionable. Founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists, Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest Earth observation fleet of imaging satellites, capturing over 30 TB of data per day. Planet provides mission-critical data, advanced insights, and software solutions to over 700 customers, comprising the world’s leading agriculture, forestry, intelligence, education and finance companies and government agencies, enabling users to simply and effectively derive unique value from satellite imagery. Planet is a Public Benefit Corporation trading on the New York Stock Exchange as PL. To learn more visit and follow us on Twitter.

About SynMax

SynMax is a data intelligence company. SynMax creates products that turn satellite images into actionable intelligence for investors, market participants and governments.

Forward-looking Statements

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, the Company’s ability to capture market opportunity and realize any of the potential benefits from strategic partnerships and customer collaborations. Forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s management’s beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to them. Because such statements are based on expectations as to future events and results and are not statements of fact, actual results may differ materially from those projected. Factors which may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to, the risk factors and other disclosures about the Company and its business included in the Company's periodic reports, proxy statements, and other disclosure materials filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which are available online at, and on the Company's website at All forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s beliefs and assumptions only as of the date such statements are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.


Planet Press

Claire Bentley

Planet Labs PBC

Planet Investor Relations

Chris Genualdi, Cleo Palmer-Poroner

Planet Labs PBC

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